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Jay Heritage Write-Up on African American Cemetery Tour

Jay Heritage has a nice write-up of the recent open tour of Rye's African American Cemetery

Rye African American Cemetary - Jay Heritage FB

(PHOTO: The open tour at Rye's African American Cemetery. Courtesy: Jay Heritage via Facebook.) 

"On a sunny Saturday morning, more than 130 visitors poured into the African American Cemetery in Rye — the first of several events co-sponsored by Westchester County’s African American Advisory Board and timed to coincide with the 400th anniversary of the beginning of slavery in America in 1619.

Docents led tours of the cemetery, sprinkling their talks with historical and biographical detail about the more than 300 African Americans who are buried at the cemetery. The burial ground, which is adjacent to the Greenwood Union Cemetery, was established more than a century and a half ago and includes veterans from the Civil War.

As visitors ambled past, Boy Scouts from local Troop 400 and other volunteers demonstrated how to gently clean the headstones of built-up dirt and debris with a special solution. Descendants of those buried in the cemetery — including Cpl. Samuel Bell of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry, the unit whose story was chronicled in the 1989 movie “Glory” — mingled with guests and told stories about their forbears.

Volunteers like David Thomas of the Friends of the African American Cemetery have spent a decade working to restore the cemetery after years of neglect. Falling trees sometimes broke headstones in two, and erosion and the elements had obscured many other stones."

Read the rest.


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